I recently took a trip down to New Orleans, and it was pretty interesting. While I have some mixed feelings about the city, I can’t deny that the Cajun and Creole food was amazing. I was there on a leisurely trip to explore, but other than visits to the WW2 Museum and a Swamp tour, the highlights of the trip mostly involved food.
The trip began at the Royal Sonesta, which was the somewhat upscale hotel I stayed at on Bourbon street. There were multiple really good places to eat within the hotel, which helped avoid walking outside through bums and street hustlers to find food. With an upscale restaurant, Whiskey bar, Oyster bar, and Jazz club, I hardly ever needed to leave the hotel.
The Desire Oyster Bar ended up being my most frequented spot on the trip, and it had all the best local foods at reasonable prices. Happy hour was every day from 4-6 and included dollar oysters. Their menu also included Chicken and Waffles, Jambalaya, Po Boy sandwiches, and many other NOLA favorites. I ended up going there 3 times.
The Char Grilled oysters at Desire were one of the best dishes I have ever had in my entire life. They were huge meaty oysters covered in garlic and butter. They had that smoky grilled taste with the amazing sauce to top it off. The dish also came with some nice bread to dip in the sauce. Despite only being an oyster dish, you can get actually get full from the dish because the sauce is pretty heavy. Mints are definitely recommended post meal. See pic below:
Desire is also known for their Po Boy sandwiches. I tried both their shrimp and catfish sandwiches. They were lightly fried and delicious. The Po Boys came on a toasted roll with mayo and a little bit of lettuce and tomato. The fried fish was so crisp and meaty. It really put Popeyes to shame. The sandwiches all came with fries lightly seasoned with cajun spices. See pic below:
Also, noteworthy on their menu was their Hurricane drink. The Hurricane is the famous fruity rum drink in NOLA. It is probably one of the strongest drinks in the city, other than the Grenade, which is like a 5 shot slushy. Desire put a twist on their Hurricane and included passion fruit to make it a citrus version of the original red drink. It was delicious and only $10 as opposed to the NYC standard cocktail price of $15. Overall, I give Desire Oyster Bar a 4.5 out of 5 rating.
Another good spot that I went to for lunch was the Napoleon House. It was actually the original home built for Napoleon Bonaparte in the New World, but unfortunately, he had died before ever making it there. Napoleon House is known for their Muffaletta sandwiches. It is a sandwich founded by early Italian immigrants that had settled in NOLA. It was a large and very tasty multilayered Italian sandwich. The layers included provolone, swiss cheese, ham, salami, and pastrami. This was all topped with an olive spread and within a large, fluffy, and crispy roll. The bread truly made the sandwich because the cold cuts were very average. The Muffaletta was very filling, but I was still able to eat a small side. I ended up getting the smaller portion of Jambalaya and it was great. It was very spicy and had pieces of chicken and sausage in it. That was an excellent lunch prior to going out and exploring the city. Napoleon House gets a solid 4 out of 5 rating. See pic below:
While I enjoyed some great local spots during the day, I had some even better meals for dinner at a few upscale restaurants. Stay tuned for Part Two…
By the way, I was actually able to get around $70 back from Ebates when booking my trip on Orbitz through their link. If you want to try it out there is a $10 promotion to join: